February 28, 2023


I do realize that we are still in February, and it IS central Wisconsin, but we have been having some truly wintry weather lately, with even more predicted for tomorrow. You know the type of weather I'm talking about, the type that requires snuggly quilts.

With that said, I think the card for today's post says it all for us Wisconsinites.

To create this card, I actually used a regular quilt pattern for fabric. I discovered this pattern was called by a few different names, but I settled on Pinwheel Star. Some of you quilters may disagree with this name, but this is one that I came across more frequently, so that is what my pattern is. 

I searched through all my leftover Designer Series Paper scraps and came up with this appealing combination.

Following the quilt pattern, I put my paper quilt together. I even added "stitching". 

It makes a delightful 4 1/4" square card. This size card, even though it is square, fits nicely inside an A2 envelope for mailing.

Although I didn't add a sentiment anywhere on the card, it could easily be used for any occasion, especially one where you're offering comfort.

Adding a 4" square of white cardstock to the inside of the card enables the sender to add any heartfelt message.

Here's a tutorial for you. You can simply use the layout on my card to make your own paper quilt.

Two Designer Series Papers that play nicely together and have small designs
White cardstock
Black cardstock

Fine Black pen
1" square punch or dies in this size. The punch goes faster, however.
Long scissors
Simply Scored
Embellishment for the center

Cut a 4" square of white cardstock. This will be the base for your quilt.

Use the Simply Scored tool to score lines at 1" intervals. Flip one direction and do it again. You should have a grid of 1" squares that covers the entire paper. This grid will help you in the placement of your quilt pieces.

Choose two prints of Designer Series Paper with small designs that work well together.

Using a 1" square punch, punch four from one DSP and four from the other DSP. Cut each of the squares in half from corner to corner.

Using the sample card as a pattern, adhere the triangles accordingly, snugging them up to each other.

When all the quilt pieees are adhered, use a fine black pen to draw lined "stitches". You can skip this step if you want, but I think it adds a little personality.

When your quilt top is finished, adhere it to a 4 1/4" square black card base, created from a 4 1/4" x 8 1/2" piece of black cardstock, folded in half and creased well with a bone folder.

To the inside of the card, add a 4" square of white cardstock for writing.

Add an embellishment to the center of the quilt.

Winter is a season of recovery and preparation.
- Paul Theroux -


February 25, 2023


I am here today to -- once again -- reiterate that almost anything can be used as an art supply. My warning: THINK twice before throwing "garbage" away! It could just be the star of your next project!

Case in point: the card I'm sharing in this blog post. I didn't throw away this garbage packing material.

As all the packages began arriving at my house containing Christmas gifts I'd ordered, I, of course, examined everything that was inside each box, besides the gifts, that is. (Usually bags don't contain anything just too interesting.) I really felt like I had hit the jackpot when I spotted this strange thick waxy paper in one of the boxes!

The photo below shows my finished card sitting atop a piece of the waxy paper.

I just KNEW this was a truly valuable art supply and that I could create something quite monumental with it. Well, maybe monumental is a little stretch. But I knew it had possibilities. 

To start, I trimmed away a piece of it that measured about 5" x 6". I crushed it in my hands, then flattened it out to see how it looked. Hmmm. I did this 4-5 times, creasing it a little more each time. The piece below shows the results of all this torturous treatment.

I liked it. It looked sort of like leather.

I remembered that I had in my stash some of the cool wood-look Designer Series Paper, specifically the piece with the rings of a cut tree trunk. I thought they would work really well together.

So, I cut a piece of this to the size of a card, 4 1/4" x 5 1/2". I had to do a little trimming so the rings were in exactly the right place for the edges. I selected one of the Stitched Rectangles dies (page 174, Annual Catalog) that measured 3" x 4 3/8" and placed it in the center of this piece to cut it into a frame.

I cut a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2", piece, folded in half, from Soft Suede cardstock for a card base.

The "leather" piece was cut to about 4 x 5 1/4" and adhered to the Soft Suede card base. I fitted the wood frame over this. Since the wood DSP was cut to 4 1/4" x 5 1/2", it fit perfectly on the card front.

I loved the texture and look of the imitation leather and wanted to preserve it as much as possible. I selected a simple die cut "happy birthday' in Early Espresso cardstock to finish the look

After that, I was quite happy with my card -- which was destined as a birthday card for my husband. It only needed one more thing. The "i" needed to be dotted. 

I took a small Basic Pearl and colored it with a Dark Soft Suede Stampin' Blend and adhered it above the "i". There! Now I had all my bases covered.

Have you come up with any masculine-looking cards lately? Especially using weird art supplies? Would you have thrown away this valuable paper?

The heart of man is very much like the sea; 
it has its storms, it has its tides, 
and in its depths, it has its pearls too.
- Craig Ferguson -



February 21, 2023


This technique is something that I always enjoy doing. All it really requires is some appropriate Designer Series Paper and an outline stamp. I am talking about paper piecing, and that is how the container holding the brushes on this card was done. 

On this otherwise white and black card, it is the only color. And, it's just enough.

A creatively placed and trimmed  circle to contain it and a simple sentiment off to the side makes for a wonderfully simply, but effective, card. This is a great way to use up some scraps of Designer Series Paper.

Here's how to make a simple card such as this one.

White cardstock
Black cardstock
Designer Series Paper in a small enough print to work well with your stamp

Crafting Forever stamp set (retired) or any set that has an outline stamp

Black ink

Paper Snips
Die Cutting/Embossing Machine
A circle die that fits your element
Stampin' Dimensionals

Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of white cardstock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

Add to this a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of black cardstock.

Choose a piece of Designer Series Paper with a small enough pattern that it will fit well with your chosen stamp. For this particular card, stamp just the tool holder onto the DSP, and fussy cut it.

In black ink, stamp the pot of tools onto the center of a 3 1/2" diecut circle. Over this stamped pot, adhere the fussy cut one you just completed.

OPTIONAL: The vast amount of white space at the top of the card may bother some of you. If it does, you can certainly mount this finished circle piece to the center of the card, with the sentiment stamped below it.

Otherwise, mount it close to the lower lefthand corner of a 3 7/8" x 5 1/8" piece of white cardstock with a couple Stampin' Dimensionals. Snip off the edges that extend beyond.

Stamp desired sentiment in the lower righthand corner in black ink.

Adhere the finished white piece over the black on the base of the card.

An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail.
- Edwin Land -


February 18, 2023


Do you love white-on-white cards as much as I do? Elegance plus.

While I love the coordinating stamp set, Grassy Grove, I was completely smitten by the die set that matches the stamps, Grove. I have been a nature girl forever, so this bundle was right up my alley.

For this white-on-white card, I used only the dies, and none of  the stamps. 

The precious fawn die that came in the set was perfect for the woodland setting. I think he is enjoying the first gentle snow of winter. Perhaps even HIS first snow!

To create the look of softly falling snow, I embossed the background piece with retired embossing folder. 

Stampin' Dimensionals gave the card the 3D look.

Here's a tutorial on how to make a card like this:

White cardstock

Die Cutting/Embossing Machine
Grove dies (page 163, Annual Catalog)
Stampin' Dimensionals
Snowfall embossing folder

Fold a 4" x 11" piece of white cardstock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

Cut a piece of white cardstock to measure 3 3/4" x 5 1/4". Emboss it with the retired falling snow embossing folder. Adhere this onto the white card base.

Cut another piece of white cardstock to 3 3/4" x 5 1/4". Using the woodland clearing die from the Grove Dies, cut the scene from this piece of cardstock. Add this over the snowfall piece with Stampin' Dimensionals. I used quite a few of the Mini Stampin' Dimensionals.

Using the small deer die from the Grove Dies, cut one of him from white cardstock. Use a bit of Stampin' Dimensional to add him to the scene.

like thoughts that come and go, 
the snowflakes fall, 
each one a gem.
- William Hamilton Gibson -



February 14, 2023


There are only a few weeks left of the annual Stampin' Up! promotion, Sale-A-Bration. Duriing this twice-a-year period, you can get freebies for every $50 or $100 purchase. 

One of the free items you can earn with a $50 purchase was a stamp set featuring these darling big-eyed owls, Adorable Owls, which can be found on page 4 of the Sale-A-Bration brochure.

I had recently found some cute square vellum doilies on the Clearance Rack (I just checked to see if they're still available. Unfortunately, they aren't. So hopefully you picked up a pack when you could get them!) I thought our little owl buddy would look good perched on top of one of the doilies.

The cool thing I discovered with these doilies is when placed upon a color, 
such as this Poppy Parade cardstock, it looks more pink rather than vellum color.

I wanted to keep the owl fairly simple, so just used Stampin' Blends 
to color in his huge eyes and his red bowtie.

Following is a tutorial on how to recreate this card:

White cardstock
Poppy Parade cardstock

Memento Tuxedo Black Ink
Stampin' Blends in Light Tahitian Tide and Light Poppy Parade

Adorable Owls stamp set

Die cutting/embossing machine
Love die
Script embossing folder
Square Vellum Doilies
From My Heart Frosted Gems
Stampin' Dimensionals

Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of white cardstock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

Cut Poppy Parade cardstock to 4" x 5 1/4", and use any embossing folder just to add some interesting texture to it. I happened to use a Script embossing folder. Once this piece is embossed, add it to the white card base.

On a scrap of white cardstock, stamp the owl with bowtie in Memento Tuxedo Black In. Color him in as you like. After he is colored, fussy cut the owl, leaving a narrow margin of white.

Add a square vellum doily with even margins at the top and sides to the red piece, using adhesive only in the center, since this will be covered by the owl. Attach the owl to the center of the doily with Stampin' Dimensionals.

From white cardstock, die cut the word "love" or any other word you prefer. Add the word to the bottom of the card.

To finish, scatter a few gems here and there on the background.

This card can be used for a Valentine or any other occasion on which you wish to send someone a little love.

What we have once enjoyed we can never lose.
All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.
- Helen Keller -


February 10, 2023


I have one particular spot in my Creative Station area where I consistently work on my papercrafting projects. Since I am less than good about cleaning up after myself, there is always -- ALWAYS -- a plethora of scraps, half-finished pieces, stuff I don't know what to do with, just all sorts of junk, in my space.

Every once in awhile my eyes land on something lying around and the creative light bulb goes on! When that happens, I need to get to work immediately. One such occurrence resulted in the card I am sharing with you today.

What my eyes had landed on were three little strips from a past project. One side of the strips was black and white, and they were simply begging for a little action from my Stampin' Blends. I was only too happy to give in to them. 

I used Blends in Light Parakeet Party, Dark Pineapple Punch, Light Cinnamon Cider, Light and Dark Flirty Flamingo, Light Pool Party, Dark Mango Melody and Dark Pale Papaya. This color combination yielded a very satisfying springlike look to the strips.

It was so simple to finish up this cheery card. I simply made a card base from Pool Party cardstock, and placed the strips, evenly spaced, upon it. 

Once again, I didn't want to give up any of the charm of the colored butterflies and flowers, so added a simple sentiment to a Pool Party label cut with the Seasonal Labels Dies (page 174, Annual Catalog). I added a couple pink pearls and wisps of Wink of Stella here and there on the coloring. 

What a ridiculously fun and satisfying project! Truly theapeutic!

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, 
but rarely admit the changes 
it has gone through to achieve that beauty. 
- Maya Angelou -



February 7, 2023


Well, the groundhog told us a few days ago that we will have six more weeks of winter. Duh. 

Even though that's the case, I am starting to long for things other than winter. It hasn't been a horrible winter here in Central Wisconsin -- so far! -- but . . . enough is enough. Right?

With all that said, I present to you a flowery card in warm weather colors. This card features an easy and effective technique: masking. 

With the exception of the Basic Pearls here and there, this is mostly a flat card. 
It should make the recipient very happy -- and hopeful -- for spring!

Following is a tutorial for creating a card using the masking technique. Read it carefully in the event you've never done masking before. It is a tool that will be useful time and again when you want to put forth the feeling of depth in an arrangement.

White cardstock
Daffodil Delight Cardstock
Black cardstock
Costal Cabana cardstock

Flower Patch stamp set or any set with a variety of solid flowers

Coastal Cabana ink
Flirty Flamingo ink
Daffodil Delight ink
Black ink

Die cutting/embossing machine
Hello You Thinlits
Post-It Note masks that you cut of each of the flowers
Large Polka Dot embossing folder
Basic Pearls

While many of the supplies used in this card are retired, it would be so easy to substitute stamps, embossing folders and dies with something else. Experiment! I just want to give you the basics for creating a card similar to this one.

Fold a 5 1/2" x 8 1/2" piece of white cardstock in half, creasing it well with a bone folder.

Run a 4" x 5 1/4" piece of Daffodil Delight cardstock through your embossing machine inside the Large Polka Dot embossing folder (or substitute). Adhere this to the card base.

You will be randomly adding the flowers to a 2 1/4" x 5 1/4" piece of white cardstock. I started with the largest fower and I used Coastal Cabana ink with which to stamp it. Do the flowers in any order you'd like. I cut masks for all of the flowers from Post-It Notes, being sure at least part of the stamped image has adhesive on the back. When cutting masks, stamp each image onto a Post-It Note. Cut the image out just SLIGHTLY inside the stamped line. If you don't do this, you will get white unstamped halos around the mask. When adding subsequent flowers in their proper colors, cover the portion of the flower you don't want to stamp on top of with its mask. This could involve two flowers at times. When all the flowers are stamped, add black centers to the smaller flowers and Basic Pearls wherever they are needed.

Adhere this piece to a 2 1/2" x 5 1/4" piece of black cardstock. Add it to the card, leaving about 1/4" of the yellow showing at the top.

With Coastal Cabana cardstock, die cut the sentiment word that you have chosen. Use tiiny dots of glue on the back of the word, and add it to the embossed portion of the card.

The earth laughs in flowers.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson -


February 4, 2023

#365birds DECEMBER 2022

I am here today to share with you the second full month of my year-long personal challenge, to draw a bird a day for 365 days. The month we will be looking at is December. 

As a 3+ years member of Terry Runyan's #dailycreating Facebook group, we are encouraged to create something every day. Instead of following Terry's optional prompts for the group, during this challenge, I follow my own prompts. Either way, I am creating every day.

Above each of the birds, I will note the name of the bird, as well as where in the world they can be found.

 vermillion flycatcher

american southwest

northern gannet
north atlantic ocean

golden-breasted starling
eastern africa

baya weaver
indian subcontinent and southeast asia

victoria crowned pigeon
new guinea

black-necked stork
this is a female because it has a yellow eye

plush-crested jay
south america

black and yellow broadbill
brunei, indonesia, malaysia, myanmar, singapore, thailand

varied thrush
northern north america

golden-browed chlorophonia
costa rica

scarlet-and-white tanager
colombia and equador

eastern bluebird
north america and south as far as nicaragua

variegated fairywren

red-tailed laughingthrush

black baza
india, eastern himalayas, china, southeast asia

southern yellow-billed hornbill
south africa

And there we go. Another month in the books.

I have to admit that once in awhile, I need to psych myself up to do the day's bird. But it is a commitment I've made to myself, and I fully intend to see it through to the end. Thus, I have never missed a day's bird -- yet.

As soon as I finish writing this post, I will be doing my drawing for Day 95. It happens to be sort of a fluke. The name of the bird I'd randomly picked from the jar happens to be a Strawberry Owl. Unfortunately, that is not a real bird. So, after a bit of sleuthing, I will be drawing a Madagascar Red Owl, which strongly resembles a Barn Owl. At least, it's a real bird.

If you would like any prints of my bird drawings, just let me know. I would be happy to supply that. Please don't copy or print any of my drawings without my express permission.

It's impossible to explain creativity. 
It's like asking a bird, "How do you fly?" You just do.
- Eric Jerome Dickey -